Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bank Adventures

Yay! I am happily typing from my desk at school. The internet is working, and there is sound. I can play songs and videos now~~~ woot!

I actually got internet yesterday afternoon, but there wasn't much time to fiddle with it. I just finished teaching for the day and am currently sitting here, waiting for the next bus to arrive. It's weird, teaching. Sometimes I think I will have a bad day and it turns out good, and other times I feel more prepared but the kids are too noisy to make a difference. (I must hurry up and make those candy coupons...).

Yesterday was the first time in several weeks that I've been able to go exchange money at a bank.  When I realized I would be able to make it into town before the bank closed, I rushed out of school as soon as I was allowed.

Digression: On one of the bus rides, I heard this song called "Sunny" playing on the radio. It's one thing to recognize your favorite k-pop song in a store or on the bus, but I first learned about this song from the movie CJ7.  (If you haven't watched it you should probably check it out. ;p ) Anyways, I don't think I ever noticed the radio playing until that moment. When I recognized the song, it made me unnecessarily happy for the rest of the bus ride.
End digression.

Banks close at 4:30 PM in Korea and open around 9 AM. It'd be a big gamble to try visiting the bank before work. I expect things to take longer (seeing as I'm a foreigner), and I had already forgotten the limited Korean bank vocabulary I'd picked up when going to the bank wasn't a huge chore. The bus brought me to the bank at 4 PM. I walked in, took a number, sat down, and waited. Sure enough, it did take a long time.

Exchanging dollar bills isn't so difficult. Even with limited Korean, just showing them the money and saying "exchange" is enough to get the job done. I didn't just bring dollars though, I brought travelers checks. Travelers checks require the bank clerk to stare for long periods of time at the paper wondering how to begin; consulting the person(s) next door, or higher in rank; making long phone calls; and finally knowing what to do: handing you the check, making you sign it in front of them, cashing in the check.

Even with all of this difficulty, I'm really thankful for them. It was already 4:30 when they made the phone call, and another 10 minutes passed by before everything was taken care of. They didn't give up or tell me to  come back the next day. I was one of two customers left in the slowly darkening room (the security guard was going around turning off lights).

All in all, it was a successful day at the bank. I learned the Korean word for exchange (which I will have to tell you later...I wrote it down somewhere). I am no longer carrying around large amounts of money on my person. It is stored somewhere uber-safe: the bank!

Ah, what have we here? It looks like it's time to go home.

'Til next time,


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